The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Shopping Sustainably

September 4, 2019

Fast fashion has become extremely popular among shoppers and is known for bringing the latest trends to stores quickly and cheaply. While consumers do not pay very much for clothing, it comes at a very high cost to the environment and adds to the major issue of modern slavery.
According to brand Eileen Fisher, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Pesticides, toxic dyes and the use of fossil fuels all contribute to the clothing industry’s massive carbon footprint.

Waste is also a problem in the fashion industry. According to the School of International Service, in one year, the U.S. sent 11 million tons of fabric to landfills.
Many fast fashion companies use forced labor and treat their workers poorly, which can be seen as a form of slavery. The laborers are paid extremely low wages or receive no wage at all.
Obviously, there are many negative effects that come with shopping from fast fashion stores. Fear not, for there are plenty of ways to shop sustainably and still find cute clothes to add to the wardrobe.

Buying from second hand clothing stores has many benefits. Not only can one find unique clothing items, it also keeps fabric from ending up in landfills. Going thrift shopping with friends can be a fun activity that lasts for hours. Finding fashionable pieces at the thrift store supplies a very rewarding feeling that keeps you going back for more. It gets better since the clothes are even cheaper than fast fashion stores.

Another way to shop sustainably is by going to vintage stores. These are usually more expensive than thrift stores like Goodwill, but the clothes are often more organized and in better condition. They also carry more high-quality name brands. Vintage stores are great for finding specific pieces, such as mom jeans or band t-shirts.
For those who don’t enjoy wearing preowned clothing, there are many ethical brands that sell new, sustainable clothes. Some examples are Patagonia, Everlane, Reformation and Nisolo. These brands are more expensive than the fast fashion stores you would find at the mall, but the money is going to a good cause. These companies pay their workers fair wages and don’t waste materials like many other brands do. The clothes are high-quality, so they will last for multiple seasons.

To support the sustainable clothing industry, make sure to donate undesired clothing to thrift stores. This will keep the fabric from ending up in landfills and will allow someone to love the item again. Even if you don’t want it anymore, it’s very likely that someone else does.

These are just a few ways to shop sustainably. Next time you want to buy some new clothes, make an effort to shop at an environmentally friendly store. It has become increasingly important to save the environment, and boycotting fast fashion is a great way to start.

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